The leaders of media platform Substack responded to leftist censorship pressure with a strong defense of free speech. “I wouldn’t want someone to pick out my clothes for me, much less my ideas,” Substack executive Lulu Cheng Meservey said.
The Washington Post wrote an absurd piece attacking Substack for its pro-free speech approach. The Post accused the platform of being “a hub for controversial and often misleading perspectives about the coronavirus.” Yahoo! News, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast piled on Substack too, citing the leftist Center for Countering Digital Hate. Leftist Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton also complained about “Anti-vaxx grift going strong” on Substack.
Substack responded by standing firm for free speech. “At Substack, we don’t make moderation decisions based on public pressure or PR considerations,” tweeted Substack Vice President of Communications Meservey, according to Fox News. “An important principle for us is defending free expression, even for stuff we personally dislike or disagree with. We understand principles come at a cost.”
Meservey said she was “proud” of this free speech stance, and that “open debate is not always comfortable,” but it is necessary. “Who should be the arbiter of what’s true and good and right?” Meservey asked. She noted no generation is “infallible.” Meservey pointed out a key issue with Big Tech censorship: “People should be allowed to decide for themselves, not have a tech executive decide for them.”
Substack is specifically meant to be a platform for individuals with widely differing views, including controversial views. “While we have content guidelines that allow us to protect the platform at the extremes, we will always view censorship as a last resort, because we believe open discourse is better for writers and better for society,” wrote SubStack co-founders Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj. The Substack co-founders said that America is suffering from an “epidemic of mistrust” in social media and other institutions, and that the “consequences are profound.” The co-founders insisted, “More censorship will only make it worse.”
Substack’s critics have a clear political bias. The Post cited the leftist Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) to claim Substack “makes millions of dollars off anti-vaccine misinformation.” The CCDH asserted Substack makes “$2.5 million in revenue from anti-vaccine newsletters per year.” Dr. Joseph Mercola, who turned to Substack after being censored by Big Tech, was specifically slammed.
The Post even mocked Mercola for predicting unvaccinated Americans may soon be imprisoned in government-run quarantine camps. Australia has reportedly been using its military to move COVID-19-positive citizens to “quarantine camps.”
But the CCDH has proven to be heavily biased in the past. CCDH dishonestly labeled nine sites, including Breitbart and Media Research Center, as part of a so-called “Toxic Ten” of “climate change denial.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand they support free speech. Tech giants should afford their users nothing less than the free speech embodied in the First Amendment. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.